Movie Roundup – Online Releases 2018

Welcome to a Movie Roundup! A movie roundup features a few films that I didn’t feel like making full reviews for, but needed to get basic reviews out there for completionist reasons. It also helps me deal with my backlog. It may have a theme, and today’s theme is Online Releases 2018! Basically, things that started out on the internet, ideally a streaming website, because it is a loose theme, and I will take it.

Being on a movie round up doesn’t mean a movie is inherently bad, or good, or meh. I can feature any rating on here! So don’t assume the worst! I will also just post the reviews in alphabetical order.


Online Releases 2018

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Can we go wrong with the Coen brothers? Yes, we totally can. But I can’t help but feel something wonderful when they continually try to do something different, or make the normal a lot more eccentric. This time, they went back to the former, while also going back to some of those old timey western roots, which are arguably their best movies. Except this time, it is straight to Netflix, and an Anthology movie with six short films instead. The only connection? Western.

This ends up working really well, even if I can say I didn’t love every part of the anthology. Unfortunately, the best and most fun was the first of the stories, and probably me least favorite was number two. I really enjoyed the one about the prospectors and the woman with her not dog too. When it works, it really works, and when it doesn’t work, it is still well made and a bit beautiful, if not full of fuckery. This is not a happy movie, and it can easily be watched in parts, and deserves praise for its individual shorts that work out amazingly well.

3 out of 4.

Ballad
None of these people share a scene with the others.

The Kissing Booth

On the other hand, Netflix has made it clear its strategy isn’t to appeal to just the best movie ever, but to instead go for all the demographics so that they all have something to watch, which is fair. Netflix having a shit movie doesn’t mean that Netflix is bad, I just don’t have to watch it…if I am a normal movie goer.

But this movie is something else, and it has crawled out of the pits of hell thanks to some teenage girl. Yeah, it is based on a book, written by a teenage girl, on some website, and now its a movie. An uninspired romance movie, that seems to rely on the kissing booth as a feature, despite not being featured too heavily in the grand scope. It features a love interest who is super controlling, threatening, and uses his fists to solve problems. Ah, what good values to instill in our youth.

0 out of 4.

Kissing
Help, help, I’m trapped in a 90s movie.

My Dinner with Hervé

Over on HBO, they also like to do movies, and shows, and documentaries. In this one, we have dudes as the stars, with one of them being one of their biggest stars of their biggest show. Makes sense. Peter Dinklage playing a biographical role, of possibly the most famous little person in history (before Peter Dinklage and Verne Troyer), Hervé Villechaize. Made famous for being in Fantasy Island and The Man With The Golden Gun.

Now, this is all according to a journalist, but it is based on the night out on the town with Hervé, where he also recounts his whole life story leading up to the point, his rises, and his many many downfalls. Dinklage does an amazing job of transforming himself, or what I know about himself, and this is an extremely touching tale of a childhood of abuse and sadness, while still trying to make something about it. It never seems to go deep enough into the sadder parts though, and probably skirts around important details. I just knew that it started off way better than it eventually ended.

2 out of 4.

DINNer
And that is also true about life, I suppose.

Slice

Slice might not technically fit this theme, because it came out on VOD, but hey, my themes are loose, and I want it in this post. Slice is the type of movie that is just so out there, it is hard to believe that it even exists. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghosts, murder mystery, pizza store, witches, and such a strange plot and concept. It is the type of movie that when describing it you know will have a cult following and probably LARPing in the future.

But in all honestly, it just doesn’t work out well. The only redeeming factor is that it definitely feels original. It just is a weird mash of ideas that aren’t fully explained because it isn’t fully thought through. It is cool, it is weird, but it is definitely not good.

1 out of 4.

sLIce
Although, it made me want pizza, so good job there.

The Tale

Finally, another HBO movie (sorry Hulu), that I didn’t even know came out this last summer. I would have never known it existed if it didn’t get nominated for a Spirit award. I mean, it has a big name in it, and it is about sexual abuse when someone was a child. Sure, a fictional tale, but a tale that resonates due to how often similar “tales” have been told by other girls in relation to their coaches while growing up. Hell, the gymnastics scandal was in 2018, maybe even going on after this movie. It is very relevant.

Dern plays someone very vulnerable and stubborn at the same time. It doesn’t end with fireworks, but plays it in a more realistic way. More importantly, the girl who plays the younger version is amazing at her role. Her acting, in normal kid way, amplifies the creepiness of everything. It puts the viewer in a dark place and really helps bring the hate towards these sexual predators.

3 out of 4.

tale
These two adults are now on my despise list, well done!

Overall, steaming platforms put out a lot of duds, and some successes. And especially Netflix, because I will never catch up on on their new releases. Or, maybe I will, if I just keep the review format like this and not larger. But these ones caught my eye for some reason or another and I chose them to watch to review, and never got around to actually writing.

The Ridiculous 6

How many movies does Adam Sandler do in a year? Usually one right? Maybe two?

Well this year, he stars in three different movies. The Cobbler, Pixels, and now The Ridiculous 6. Sure he is getting older, but those private yachts aren’t going to pay for themselves. And as he does more and more films, he gains more and more friends to have to support on his army of yachts.

This film is a Netflix original movie. Last year he signed a four film deal with the company, and so it will be awhile before his films are released theatrically again.

And uhh. I guess this is Adam Sandler’s take on a western, with a name similar to those other western and samurai movies.

Group
There are rag tag groups and there are shit groups. This group is worse than the later.

White Knife (Sandler) grew up never really knowing his father or his mother. But he is half Native America, despite looking white. And yes, her is freakishly good at using knives. Name explained, boom.

Then one day, an old guy comes to town. Frank Stockburn (Nick Nolte), a famous bank robber who was notorious throughout the land. Turns out that is his real daddy. But he needs help. Members of his former gang are going to kill him, unless he pays back money that was stolen from there. The gang is now lead by Cicero (Danny Trejo), and they are ruthless. Frank lies to them about the location, so that White Knife aka Tommy can get the money and put it in the spot before the bad guys get there. Then, after saving his dad’s life, he can enjoy some of that sweet ass quality time he has been hoping for. So he will run off and do that, before he gets married to Smoking Fox (Julia Jones).

Along the way, Tommy finds out that his dad really did get around, by meeting several half brothers. There is Ramon (Rob Schneider), half Mexican with a burro. There is Lil’ Pete (Taylor Lautner), who is half retarded and well. Yeah. Herm (Jorge Garcia) is half…Mongolian or something. He speaks gibberish. There is also Chico (Terry Crews), half Black and a piano player! And finally, Danny (Luke Wilson) who is half an alcoholic and half an American traitor.

Remember when I said Sandler had friends? Yeah, a ton of them are in this movie.

Chris Parnell. Blake Shelton. Harvey Keitel. John Turturro. Jon Lovitz. Nick Swardson. Saginaw Grant. Steve Buscemi. Steve Zahn. Vanilla Ice. And Will Forte!

SJ
Lautner’s tooth gap is played by Steve Carell!

I almost forgot to mention the controversy! You know, where Native American extras walked off the set because they found the humor to be racist and demeaning. One would say that isn’t good publicity, but of course we know there is no such thing as bad PR.

In fact, Netflix can only gain from a raunchy Sandler film. No one will cancel their account because it exists, but they will get more international audiences who love the shit out of him still. Win for them, no matter how terrible a film is.

But in all honesty, this film isn’t even super terrible. No, it is really fucking…slightly below average. Sandler’s character is a bit boring, which is true for a lot of his things lately. He is just playing an every guy, who happens to be good at knives I guess. The only reason to watch the film is for the rest of the 5 brothers.

Taylor Lautner playing what amounts of Simple Jack? Fantastic. He was the best part of Grown Ups 2 and one of the best parts of this one as well. I have been know to enjoy Schneider, and I think his performance is one of his better ones lately (again, not saying a lot). Garcia and Crews felt a bit underused, especially Garcia. His character didn’t even make sense.

But really, the movie has bottom of the barrel. I only laughed occasionally, the twists were obvious, and it was just far too long. It looks like they really did try to make a good western parody, but you know. Poop jokes. Under using actors. Some racism. You know what you are getting going into the film, I suspect.

1 out of 4.

The Five-Year Engagement

Thinking back on it, I don’t know how much press The Five-Year Engagement ended up getting. I really only heard about it a few times, and actually never a preview. I think I heard it mentioned in the same sentence as Jeff, Who Lives at Home, just because of the actor share, and that is about it. So hey, why not just buy a movie I know nothing about, because who really wants to wait for Redbox?

Awk
Only three people in this picture are willing to wait for Redbox.

Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) met like most couples, wearing costumes drunk on New Years Eve. But boy, did they hit it off! Tom being a sous chef at a San Francisco fancy seafood shop, and she is a PhD in Psychology student! Clearly meant to be. But after their engagement party, they put off planning their wedding for a bit, when some of their good friends get pregnant and married first (Chris Pratt, Alison Brie).

That’s not too bad. But when Violet gets accepted as a postdoc at the University of Michigan for a two year awesome program, it puts a weird spin on the relationship. Oh well, Tom can probably find a new restaurant job easily in Michigan! Right? Eh..

The movie at this point becomes a series of incidents that continue to delay the planning of the wedding, with a few role reversals going on. Tom has a hard time fitting in in Michigan, way colder than he is ever used to. He doesn’t have many friends, just his sandwich shop boss (Brian Posehn) and Bill (Chris Parnell) who teaches him how to hunt and be a real woodsman. Violet immediately loves her new job, her boss (Rhys Ifans), and most of her workmates (including Mindy Kaling and Kevin Hart).

Sex, cheating, distrust, psychological experiments, and baby frights. Will the two even survive waiting five years to get married?

Beard
Not with that beard, holy crap Jason.

The first thing to notice in this film is that there is a lot of “TV Actors” making up most of the cast. Three of the four people on the cover are known for their shows more than anything else!

I decided that I needed to watch the unrated version of the movie, which is about 2 hours and 15 minutes, roughly 10 more minutes of movie, and I am not sure if that made all the difference. I think the movie definitely had its moments, I just didn’t think it needed to be as long as it was. I was losing interest by the end. I hope the theatrical one wasn’t superior, because overall I’d guesstimate my version was about twenty minutes too long. Five years is a long time, but if it takes too long, I found myself not even caring about whether or not they get married.

I will say that their romance felt a bit realer than movies normally show. They fought, they made up, they weren’t perfect for each other, but they tried to make it work. That was definitely an enjoyable aspect.

2 out of 4.

I’m Reed Fish

I’m Reed Fish, bitch!

It’s hard to say the title of this movie without adding something behind it.

This is another movie I knew just nothing about before watching, so uhh yeah. Cool story, bro.

reed fish what
I’m Reed Fish and I just had a revelation about my life! Maybe.

This movie takes place in a small town, somewhere. We are waken up by the sound of a radio, and oh no, Reed Fish (Jay Baruchel) is late to the radio job! Which is in his shed in his yard so he makes it on time, and no big deal. He does the local news around the area, just a simple hour long show that everyone seems to listen to. Used to belong to his dad, before both his parents died, and he took over. Has the help of Maureen (Katey Sagal) and his friend Frank (Victor Rasuk).

He is also getting married soon, no big deal, to Kate (Alexis Bledel). Someone he met after high school. He is letting her handle all the planning, after all, he has a busy job in the community! But then his high school crush shows up in town again, Jill (Schuyler Fisk) back from College and running around the world. Well shit. Time for awkward feelings, Reed Fish.

Now he has to figure out what he truly wants in life. To continue marrying Kate? To see if he can make something work with Jill? (This is a really small town, ramifications man!) Chris Parnell and DJ Qualls also play minor character friends.

Oh yeah, and about 2/5 of the way through the movie, the sound stops and gets all weird. Turns out the movie we are watching is a movie made by Reed Fish about his life, and showing it to the town for a premier. What? So yes, most of the movie is a movie in the movie, technically. This leads to some twists at the end.

reed fish sammich
I’m Reed Fish and I like to be in pictures as the meat in a two girl bread sandwich.

Those twists, which add nothing really to the movie for me. It is a very awkward story, this Reed Fish movie, because I wonder what the point of it all is.

Dude cheats on his wife, which pisses off his wife and the whole town. But that isn’t how it ends. Can he actually have a relationship with Jill without pissing off everyone further, or will he go back to Kate, just pissing off Jill? Man has 99 problems, and he is the Bitch in this situation I think. Starts fights with friends, etc.

I found the film dull and uninteresting. Could barely even tell twists happened at the end. I also don’t see why everyone cheered at the end of his movie. His movie ended stupidly, I think. They probably just liked seeing themselves on screen.

1 out of 4.